Obama seems to be failing more completely than any president in my lifetime. Everywhere you turn he is floundering, overreaching, or outright flunking. His only success — health care legislation — was achieved over the will of the people, rarely a good idea. He is manufacturing conservatives and libertarians at an unprecedented clip. The only mystery left for the coming November election is how bad a donnybrook this will be for the Democrats.
Why has this happened?
There are several obvious answers. Obama, too inexperienced for his office, never expected to accede to it so quickly in the first place. The public (correctly) has no stomach for multiculturalist foreign policy. Liberal economics has reached the end of its Ponzi scheme road and we’re in a recession/depression with no end in sight. And, of course, there is that little eco-catastrophe in the Gulf
But there is another reason, perhaps more important than all of them. Obama has been unable to use the Bully Pulpit. No one pays attention to him. The vaunted Demosthenes of the campaign trail disappeared literally upon inauguration. He hasn’t been able to convince anyone of anything. He only succeeds when he acts purely as a bully, muscling through legislation.
Some say this is because he wasn’t such a great orator in the first place. He just read decently off a teleprompter and with the prompter gone the emperor has not clothes.
But I think it is something more complex and deeper. There have been plenty of presidents with limited abilities off the cuff. I think it is because Obama was elected on a lie, a big one that was enabled by the mainstream media, and that by the time he was in office he had spent his credit. Belief was gone. Everyone knew he was a liar, including many liberals, even if they wouldn’t admit it to themselves and even if they had colluded with him in the lie.
I am speaking, alas again, of the Reverend Wright affair. I thought it was serious at the time. In retrospect, I think it was disastrous, probably fatal.
Barack Obama told us on several occasions then that he had not been aware of Wright’s extreme black nationalist views during the candidate’s twenty years in the reverend’s church. That made no sense, since Obama had dedicated his book to Wright, had his children baptized by him, etc. Also, Wright’s separatist brand of black liberation theology was no doubt quite familiar to Obama. It had been to many of us for decades.